How to Get Your Life Back

This book is written by John Eldredge, a bestselling author, counsellor and teacher – an author whom both my husband and I have come to adore! I admire his style of writing that speaks the truth in love. He is the president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. John and his wife, Stasi, are the authors of various other best-selling books like Wild at Heart (John) and Captivating (John and Stasi).

We live in soul-scorching times. The 24-7 onslaught of contemporary life–with its never-ending feed of global tragedies and shrieking demands for our attention, to say nothing of the ordinary pressures of work, family, friends, and community–has left us ragged, wrung-out, and emptied. But if we already have no margin in our lives, how do we find room to change things?

In his life-changing new book, John Eldredge distills a lifetime’s wisdom about healing into a series of practical, ready-to-implement practices for putting yourself back together. These simple steps will enable you to begin recovery, help you focus on what matters most, disengage from the tragedies of this broken world, and discover the restorative power of beauty. The practices include

• the one-minute pause,
• benevolent detachment,
• practicing kindness,
• getting outside, and
• stepping back from technology.

The practices explained here are ready for the taking. You don’t need abandon your life to get it back. You can restore it here and now. And you will never be the same.

In Get Your life Back, John Eldredge shares everyday practices to get your soul back to a place of health and purpose. The aim of this book is to offer simple and sustainable ways of restoring your soul so that you can receive more of God.

I have to be honest as I write this book review… I did not look for this book; it came across my path unexpectedly and had such a profound impact on my spiritual life and day-to-day living.

When my husband set his mind on reading this book, I just tagged along. Goodness – was I in for a life-changing book! I have come to change the way I do small, everyday things. I take time to slow down, to think about what I am thinking about, as I sip my earl grey tea during mid-morning breaks. I monitor my soul’s well-being by checking whether I have become irritated by things I used to love. I have become disinterested in meaningless activities like watching mindless tv and robotic scrolling on my phone.

The soul has always been a difficult thing for me to understand – a mystery of some sort. The other aspects of my well-being, like my physical body and my spirit, are things that I understood and felt equipped to nurture. Feeling sick or unhealthy? Take care of your physical body by feeding it with the right nutrients and exercising. Feeling spiritually empty or disconnected? Reconnect with God by spending time with Him and fellow believers. Feeling soul-scorched or heartbroken? Sorry, I don’t really know how to help you there… I guess you can practice some self-care and talk to a close friend?

My soul remained a boggling concept that I could not connect to God and the purpose for which he created it. However, I really believe that John Eldredge has been led be the Holy Spirit to write this book in order to demystify this important part of our being.

This book holds a necessary message for anyone living in our day and age. Our capacity for life is lessened by the digital age we live in, the rapid pace of the world, and traumatic events that are constantly happening around us. All of these things take away from life – our life with God, our soul’s wellbeing and basically anything that is supposed to bring joy and purpose to our lives. Thus, we need to recognise the “soul-scorching hour” we’re living in. God is the creator of our souls and he wants to fill it. Yet, He is unable to do this if the vessel of our soul is broken, ragged and unable to receive Him.

Each chapter of the book offers an accessible way in which you can restore your soul.

The one-minute pause helps you settle down for sixty seconds to come back to yourself and God. This practice, alongside benevolent detachment, allows you to take a moment to be still and let everything go that frazzles you.

Follow the book’s simple steps to unplug from technology to do real things like going for a walk, building a puzzle or creating something beautiful.

You will be challenged to open your clenched soul to experience beauty’s healing power. Beauty can be found in our country’s epic travel destinations like Table Mountain and the vast Karoo landscape, as well as more intimate spaces like the morning sun streaming through your kitchen window and the succulent plant you use to decorate your home.

I am absolutely overcome by the power of this book’s practical steps to add substance to one’s day to day living. I find myself grabbing the book every now and again to remind myself to take a time out, to experience beauty in small things, to practice kindness towards myself, and to care for the neglected places in my soul. All this, in order to live a more carefree life as God instructs us to do in His Word.

Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you – 1 Peter 5:7 

Get your copy of Get Your Life Back from CUM Books and other leading book stores for R365.

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